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How to Incorporate Deadlifts into My Split?


I have a question about where to put deadlifts in my routine. I like doing them and want to get the benefits of them, but I’m not sure how to best incorporate them into my routine. My current split is as follows: Day 1. Back/Chest, Day 2. Legs, Day 3. off, Day 4. Delts/Arms, Day 5. off, Day 6. Repeat. I like this split because it allows me to have the flexibility to work this around my hectic and crazy schedule with work and family obligations. If need be, I can do the routine as listed, or I can do 3 on/1 or 2 off, 1 on/1 off, etc. But I need help incorporating Deadlifts into my routine. Do them on Back day? Leg day? Change my days off? Rearrange the split?

Do you guys have any suggestions for me? If you think I should adjust my split, please feel free to suggest a new one. I’m certainly not going to be offended if you critique and change my plan. You guys know more than me, that’s why I’m asking.

Thanks for any and all suggestions, help, tips, etc.


You could do them on just about any day you listed, with Day 1 probably being the worst choice since you're doing legs the next day.

Giving a better answer would require more information about you and your goals.


I would go with day 4.


What exercises are you doing on leg day? Right now I have squats and dead lifts on different days. My dead lift day warms up with snatching Olympic-style exercises, proceeds to dead lift variations, and then ends with kettle ball swings. So then you could have alternating upper and lower body days.


I would also split up the back and legs a lot more. So deadlift at 60-80& and squats variations a few days later. Personally I would train the back separately from the deadlift. like Hatfield suggests back extensions and shrugs, unloaded reverse hypers focusing on contracting lower back and glutes so done slowly.

I would do squat first personally .


Thanks for the replies so far guys. Sorry, I failed to give some background. Here's more info:
48 years old
Goal is to gain strength (and size), maybe lose a few lbs of fat
Main leg exercises are squats, front squats, Bulgarian split squats, RDLs. (Basically anything I can do with a BB and DBs)

Because I have an imbalance in my delts from too much pressing, I'm trying to keep to a 3:1 Pull: Push ratio. Most of my back work is rowing and pulldown type movements.


I never thought about that. I think that might be a good idea. My delts workout is relatively light due to me trying to correct a lack of rear delt development, and over developed front delts. So my Day 4 would most likely end up being side & rear delts and arms.

How does that sound?


I'd change legs to day 1 and Deadlift on day 4 if it was me and I was married to this split.


If you are serious about developing your strength, why not run a serious strength program?


I do want to get stronger, but my primary goal of training is to gain some muscle, lose some fat and just look better (when I'm naked with my wife, haha!)

While strength is nice, I guess I'm more vain than I thought!


I am the last person that should be dishing out advice, but I think it will work. Might want to throw in some face pulls and band pull aparts for the delt issues. The people on this forum have really helped me.


I can speak to building a stronger deadlift, which incidentally has made me more muscular. It doesn't sound like that's what you're really after though.

I don't have any experience in training strictly for muscle size, so I can't speak to that. As with most things training-related, I'd look to those who have achieved what you want to achieve. There are lots of strong and muscular 45+ people here and elsewhere who've laid their methods out for us all to see. Success leaves tracks, so follow them.

That said, I'd encourage you to think about what you want and what you are willing to do to get it. I don't mean any disrespect, but it sounds like your goals are poorly-defined.

You first stated that you wanted to...

There is nothing wrong with that, but when I suggested looking into a serious strength program, you changed your tune to...

Once again there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you might approach that goal differently than a strength-focused one.

If you want to add size, I'd recommend choosing a proven bodybuilding program that you can fit into your life and running it as well as you can. The clock is ticking for everyone in this section, and our bodies will never be in a better position to add muscle than they are today.

Of course, if that sounds like too much hassle, there's nothing wrong with not doing any of that crap. All of this stuff is optional. Maybe you just want to keep doing what you've been doing, but with some deadlifts added.

If that's the case, just add them wherever you feel makes the most sense and see how your body responds. I've done deads the same day as heavy squats and made out just fine, or you can do them two days after squats, or on your back/chest day or delts/arms day or even a day where you just go in and do some deadlifts and nothing else. In this context, I don't think it matters all that much if your recovery is on-point.

There are so many ways you can approach this, as long as you are being sensible I don't think you can really go too wrong.


Thanks for the reply. I guess I wasn’t too clear on my goals. In a nutshell, I want to gain some muscle and lose a bit of fat. (Like most guys, I'm assuming) I want to look better when I’m at the pool, out for a run or just at home. So actually, my main goal is more appearance related than strength like I originally stated.

While at the book store over lunch, I picked up a copy of a book called “The New Rules of Lifting” by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. I can’t put it down. It seems like a perfect book for me, i.e. someone who has bounced from program to program with little to no results. I’m going to commit to following this program for the next 4 months. This will be allow me to gain some time and experience with squats, deadlifts, etc. From what I’ve read, Alwyn Cosgrove is a well respected trainer and is known for putting good programs together.


Alwyn's stuff is great IMO. He caters to your good health too.


Well that sounds pretty sensible to me. Best of luck to you!


In a nutshell, THIS; especially the first line. You've got the plan (theirs), just work it, and see what happens.
Good luck.